Comments on: Sausage party for the so-called “Founding Fathers” http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/18/sausage-party-for-the-so-called-founding-fathers/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 01:22:40 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Before It's News http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/18/sausage-party-for-the-so-called-founding-fathers/comment-page-1/#comment-1041809 Thu, 21 Jun 2012 15:16:34 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11385#comment-1041809 [...] Historiann, is also an early American historian. At her blog, she often (and very humorously) decries the obsession with endless biographies of the same old founding fathers and pontifications about their meaning, [...]

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By: Historiann gets “big laugh” at the OAH, laments the absence of Constitution-burning in today’s politics : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/18/sausage-party-for-the-so-called-founding-fathers/comment-page-1/#comment-1000809 Fri, 20 Apr 2012 20:00:38 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11385#comment-1000809 [...] I don’t really care.  (There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?)  I think this is the post she means: Here’s a suggestion, boys: just stop writing about the so-called “Founding Fathers!”Stop it! [...]

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By: Jesse Lemisch on Founders Chic–on video! : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/18/sausage-party-for-the-so-called-founding-fathers/comment-page-1/#comment-839145 Fri, 17 Jun 2011 14:11:43 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11385#comment-839145 [...] Rust Eisenberg, John McMillian, Jesse Lemisch, and Robert Cohen.”  Some of you may remember last summer’s discussion of “Founders Chic,” David Waldstreicher’s term for the phenomenon much decried by Historiann (and in few other [...]

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By: Sausage party, or wiener roast? Founding Fathers/Presidential Chic, again! : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/18/sausage-party-for-the-so-called-founding-fathers/comment-page-1/#comment-820662 Mon, 02 May 2011 13:32:43 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11385#comment-820662 [...] comments are of course aligned with my overall critique of Founding Fathers/Presidential history, which I explained most recently last summer: Here’s a suggestion, boys:  just stop writing about the so-called “Founding Fathers!”  [...]

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By: Stars & Stripes Forever: Marla Miller’s Betsy Ross and the Making of America : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/18/sausage-party-for-the-so-called-founding-fathers/comment-page-1/#comment-661108 Sat, 03 Jul 2010 13:01:57 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11385#comment-661108 [...] go get a snack and a refill of your festive and patriotic cocktail.  Consider this a follow-up to my latest foot-stamping tirade about the So-Called “Founding Fathers” and the endless production of trade biographies thereof.  Here’s a biography that, while [...]

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/18/sausage-party-for-the-so-called-founding-fathers/comment-page-1/#comment-648969 Mon, 21 Jun 2010 13:46:27 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11385#comment-648969 Shane–I don’t think that tour does anything really new. I had a similar tour there 15 years ago–this sounds like a rebranding of stuff they already did on that tour. (At least our tour guide pointed out all the ways that the labor of enslaved people was hidden or disguised to support the illusion that Monticello operated by itself.)

Dave–good points. I think those books are only current for people in those subfields, quite frankly. White’s book is taken seriously by borderlands scholars, but that’s about it right now. (One reason may be that White himself abandoned that line of inquiry, and the last I heard he was writing a history of the transcontinental railroad and focusing much more on environmental history.)

The SCFF scholars never read or cared much about the books you mention. Your comment helps make my case that the SCFF scholars inhabit a claustrophobic intellectual world, and they’re happy in that tiny, navel-gazing world, I think. (After all, if they took White, Cronon, or Richter seriously, they’d probably change fields and write something new.) For me, the example of Joseph Ellis is particularly instructive. To what extent did his fascination with the SCFFs and their biographies lead him to embroider his autobiography and cast it as more heroic and historic than it actually is? I think a lot of SCFF scholarship and biography is just hero-worship, which seems to me to be an extremely primitive approach to historical scholarship.

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By: Western Dave http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/18/sausage-party-for-the-so-called-founding-fathers/comment-page-1/#comment-648924 Mon, 21 Jun 2010 13:04:18 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11385#comment-648924 It is funny how some of the biggest major rethinkings of Colonial history came out of people who did not identify as Colonialists but as Western US or Native American historians. I’m thinking here of Bill Cronon, Changes in the Land, Richard White’s Middle Ground, and the Dans Richter and Unser. I’m not sure how much these works got attention from “mainstream historians.” I remember there was a lot of hoopla for the White book but then it all seemed to go back to which ff do I admire most?

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By: Shane http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/18/sausage-party-for-the-so-called-founding-fathers/comment-page-1/#comment-648525 Mon, 21 Jun 2010 03:49:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11385#comment-648525 The particular “longstanding grudges” you cite weren’t so much visible to me in my several semesters of graduate-seminar reading, but I did get a sense that many people in the field have been fighting these battles for decades. What was clear to me was that now-senior historians I respect got their battle scars (and tenure) via book-length arguments about the importance of taking (mostly white) women’s historical experiences seriously, and that 30+ years later, the field’s still busy in debates that are structurally and ideologically similar. As you say, I’d rather contribute to new knowledge than get tangled up in those debates.

(Did you see, by the way, that there’s a new tour at Monticello, highlighting the aspects of the architecture designed for enslaved people to work unobtrusively? Given the recent fuss you describe about slavery studies, I’d love to read a historian’s review of it.)

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By: Paul S. http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/18/sausage-party-for-the-so-called-founding-fathers/comment-page-1/#comment-648520 Mon, 21 Jun 2010 03:46:46 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11385#comment-648520 I’m saying that I thought that the focus in most of American historiography for the last several decades has been away from the elite white men, and that people who do want to study them (as well as traditional political or military history in general) have been on the defensive for a couple of generations now just to justify their relevance. I thought that the writing of biographies for a more popular market was something that people did at least in part because they couldn’t get much attention or respect from their fellow scholars because the subject matter that they studied is no longer respected. It sounds like you think the opposite is true, which makes me curious about the accuracy my impressions.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2010/06/18/sausage-party-for-the-so-called-founding-fathers/comment-page-1/#comment-648507 Mon, 21 Jun 2010 03:32:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=11385#comment-648507 Paul, you’d think that academic historians’ and popular historians’ books would look different, but in my view, when they’re about the SCFFs, they don’t! My point here was to point out how suffocatingly narrow are the frames through which many people see early American history. Debates that are like “Geo. Washington: 100% a genius visionary, or only 90%?” seem so fake and artificial to me. My point is that if we get out of this SCFF-centered vision of history–or even the wives or the slaves of the SCFFs–we’ll find a whole lot of new, interesting, and perhaps important stories to tell. But we won’t if we don’t go looking for them.

But then, my vision of where my field should go is hardly determinative! ((Sigh.))

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